Chris Rock won’t be stepping down as Oscar host this year, despite calls for him to boycott the event after the Academy failed to nominate a single African American in any acting category for the second year in a row. But Rock will address the controversy and is reworking his opening monologue.
Oscars producer Reginald Hudlin told Entertainment Tonight that, “Chris is hard at work. He and his writing staff locked themselves in a room.”
Hudlin went on to say that Rock declared, “I’m throwing out the show I wrote and writing a new show.”
The producer says he believes that Rock will be able to navigate the controversy, saying that the comedian is “thorough.”
“He’s that brilliant, and I have 1,000 percent confidence that he will deliver something that people will be talking about for weeks,” he said. “And, yes, the Academy is ready for him to do that … They’re excited about him doing that. They know that’s what we need. They know that’s what the public wants, and we deliver what the people want.”
The Academy Awards will air on Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. ET on ABC.